"Papa!" Riverglade bolted to her father's side. Stormwing nuzzled his filly, then listened to what Hawkwing had to say. Riverglade saw Lightbreeze standing with Flamefire.
"Why have you come here, Stormwing?" Hawkwing demanded to know.
"I've come for my filly."
"They trespassed," Hawkwing lied.
"No, they didn't." Stormwing said. "My mate, Brightcloud, sent sent the weanlings out to the void with one of our steeds, Sablestone, to help them with flying during the migration."
Hawkwing pricked his ears, and tilted his massive head. "Sablestone? He was in training to be a captain in my army. He failed to complete an assignment, and was banished from Plains Herd. He's in Canyon Herd, you say?"
Stormwing kept a close eye on the Plains Herd steeds around them. "Yes," He said, wary of the foreign pegasi.
Riverglade nudged her father with her nose. "Papa," she whispered. She had to tell him about Sablestone!
Stormwing gave her a sharp look. "Not now, Riverglade."
She huffed, annoyed.
"I'm taking these fillies home," Stormwing said.
Hawkwing pinned his ears. "No. They are my captives. If you really want them back, you will have to trade for them."
Stormwing sighed, having hoped it wouldn't have come to this. "I am prepared to offer you Crystal Lake and the forest on the southeastern corner of our territory." Canyon Herd was the second smallest of the five herds, and it was extremely difficult for Stormwing to give Plains Herd even a small portion of their territory.
"I don't want just a tiny corner of your lands," Hawkwing refused.
Stormwing lashed his tail, frustrated. "What will you take, then?"
Hawkwing puffed his feathers and chest, making him appear even larger and more intimidating than he already was. "You know what I want." He said.
Stormwing did. Hawkwing had tried many times to gain control of Canyon Herd and it's lands long before Riverglade was born. He pawed the ground. "You cannot have Canyon Herd's lands, nor our steeds."
Hawkwing did a small rear. "Then you cannot have the fillies."
The two overstallions faced each other, neither wavering in stance. Seeing them in front of each other at the same time made Riverglade realize just how different they are. Stormwing became overstallion because he loved his herd, and was fearless and dedicated to his job. None of it was for personal gain. Hawkwing, on the other hoof, did it all for power.
After a while, Stormwing lowered his head the tiniest bit. "May I speak with my filly?"
The large brown pinto snorted. "Fine."
Riverglade followed her father into the cave. "Papa, don't trade Canyon Herd for me. It's not worth it. You'll be killed, who knows what will happen to Mama, and I'll just end up here again."
Stormwing looked at Riverglade with relief and extreme pride. He exhaled. "I'd hoped you'd understand." He said.
Suddenly she threw up her head. "Papa! Sablestone is a traitor!" Her father's eyes in surprise. "Lightbreeze and I eavesdropped on him and Hawkwing's captain, Cloudfire, and his team. This was planned! Sablestone wasn't banned, he was sent to Canyon Herd, to try and overthrow you! This was his last assignment, before he would become a captain. But he wanted to stay in Canyon Herd, and something about a special mare....."
Stormwing pinned his ears and pawed the ground, created a cloud of dust and dirt. "Sablestone will pay for this...."